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Some hitter stats better than others for DraftKings

Predictive numbers help select batters who'll maximize fantasy-game points
Special to MLB.com

In last week's piece, we examined the best stats to study when selecting pitchers for the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com. Today, let's turn our attention to the bats.

As with pitching stats, not all hitting stats are created equal. The two primary types of stats are explanatory and predictive. Explanatory stats, such as batting average, explain past events, while predictive stats -- such as Weighted On-Base Average -- can help make accurate predictions. The latter type of stats have the most use in daily fantasy baseball.

In last week's piece, we examined the best stats to study when selecting pitchers for the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com. Today, let's turn our attention to the bats.

As with pitching stats, not all hitting stats are created equal. The two primary types of stats are explanatory and predictive. Explanatory stats, such as batting average, explain past events, while predictive stats -- such as Weighted On-Base Average -- can help make accurate predictions. The latter type of stats have the most use in daily fantasy baseball.

The key to selecting hitters in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com is to maximize your points ceiling. Let's examine some of the best stats with which to assess batters along with their potential uses.

Batted-Ball Profile
A hitter's batted-ball profile is the percentage breakdown of his ground-ball, fly-ball and line-drive counts. In terms of creating runs, you want your hitters to record a high number of line drives and fly balls relative to how often they hit the ball on the ground. A line-drive percentage over 20 percent is above average.

You can use a hitter's batted-ball profile to help determine whether he's truly hot. Similarly, it can help you discern whether he is in a prolonged slump or just a slide that's bound to end soon. If a red-hot hitter is tallying many ground balls, it could suggest he's not swinging the bat quite as well as his recent success suggests. Similarly, a cold hitter who is making good contact with a decent line-drive rate is likely to snap out of his slump in the near future.

Isolated Power (ISO)
Another stat to utilize when selecting batters for the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com is Isolated Power. ISO is a measure of a hitter's raw power and his ability to hit for extra bases.

ISO has great predictive value in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com because it's a good proxy for home run potential. You may recall that your hitters will need to belt long balls for you to succeed in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com, which awards many points for homers. In this game, getting upside is the key to succeed.

ISO can help you predict home runs and other extra-base hits even better than looking at past home runs. If you were to look at a player such as J.J. Hardy, you could be misled by the fact that he has yet to go deep in 2014. His career ISO is slightly above average, though, suggesting that while Hardy might not possess the power he once exhibited, he's still probably a decent play, especially for his cost in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com. Why? Because his current home run count isn't reflective of his true power.

Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA)
wOBA is a catch-all stat that attempts to adjust batting average according to how much each type of hit -- a single, double, triple, or home run -- actually helps an offense score runs. That makes it a better stat than batting average -- which treats all hits the same -- and slugging percentage, which doesn't accurately weight extra-base hits.

An average wOBA is in the range of .315 to .320. By studying wOBA (including recent wOBA), you can get a sense of a hitter's overall ability or how well he's swinging the bat.

However, keep in mind that singles, doubles and triples are less helpful than a home run in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com.

Jonathan Bales contributes DraftKings-related content to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.